Are you wondering how to stimulate creativity and trigger your creative thought process?
If so, begin by answering this question: Do you mostly think in words, or in images and feelings? This is important, because your personal thought patterns will determine your creative potential, and ultimately your success. True success in life is always a creative endeavor.
If words dominate your thoughts, you will not be able to stimulate your mind to access your creativity within.
Leonard Cohen is a good example of a rich creative spirit. Have you listened to his songs? They are unique and powerful because his words convey speechless concepts.
His main mode of thought is rich in feeling and imagery, even though his creative output is in words. When you hear his songs or read his poems, you get the message, because he doesn’t put words to his thoughts prematurely. He waits for the creative awareness to mature. And when the words come, they respect the power and depth of his inspiration. They fluidly bend and lend their definitions to express the creative output of his soul.
“I want you, I want you, I want you
on a chair with a dead magazine.
In the cave at the tip of the lily,
in some hallway where love’s never been.
On a bed where the moon has been sweating,
in a cry filled with footsteps and sand”
… from Leonard Cohen’s “Take This Waltz” (after Lorca)
Your feelings and subtle mental imagery are unlimited. They express your pure creative truth. Leonard Cohen is unique because he understands the sacredness of creative thought. He instinctively knows that words are only messengers. They are neither the creation nor the creator of thought.
The creative void — and words
When you hear words used this way, they do not stop you at the line drawn by literal definition. They allow you to pass beyond into the creative vortex of your spirit. This strange, often vacant place, is where magic feels comfortable. It is there that your spirit and your creative muse reach out to communicate with you.
This creative void is within you, and like a vacuum it draws your spirit to create inspirations, emotions, images, and conceptions from your inner universe. Words have no place in this space. It is there as fertile ground to nurture the seeds of your nature, watered by experience.
But words are tenacious; they grab your mind; they fill your creative void, overwriting your wisdom and inspiration with their limited definitions. They regurgitate what you have said before, what others have said to you, and what you have read.
Words, used as commonly prescribed, are a coarse attempt to express your incredible depth and range of creative perception. Words are not at all profound. They can only point to the profound. Words describe. They are there to communicate your inner world to your outer world. But because you spend so much time communicating in words, both written and spoken, you allow them to fill all of the available spaces — to the point where you hear nothing but these words in your head.
When their definitions block the subtle and liquid voice of your spirit, you will no longer feel the power of that sacred and creative void within you.
Changing thought patterns
You can improve your Creative thinking skills the same way you have mastered other skill sets — by focussed practice. Here are 3 suggestions to stimulate creative thinking.
- Practice meditation: Meditation is the practice of honoring your creative void. Through it, you learn to let go of your mind’s tendency to think in words. You become adept at ignoring the urge to follow the pointless tangents of the mind’s word stream. When the words stop, you enter your creative void and your universe expands. Try my Little Buddha Walking meditation for an enjoyable way to meditate.
- Wake up your creative imagination: Everyone is creative, each in their own way. Learn to recognize and honor your particular brand of imagination and creativity. Find ways to visually and physically play with it. When you exercise your creative mind you move beyond your intellect and its prison of words. Imagination empowers your creative imagery and feelings.
- Listen to yourself: You might not realize the depth of what you miss due to the unceasing flow of words through your mind. Take time out to listen to your mind’s constant chatter. Become aware of just how pervasive it is. Ask yourself if you would consciously choose these thoughts. Are they important, or are they just random regurgitations of yesterday’s experiences? If they weren’t there, what would take their place? Now, practice being in that place where you can perceive, visualize, and formulate without being limited by words and sentences and definitions.
If you practice the above 3 suggestions, you will gradually reduce the amount and volume of the words that take up so much of that precious creative space in your mind. You will clear that creative void so that your spirit can drift into it and gestate.
When you experience that void, it is like giving birth. It is not something you have defined or intellectually formulated. It is an unknown. It is a gift that you accept, then develop and share using words as a vehicle as necessary.
It is in the mystery, the surprise, and the darkness of the unknown that you progress in depth of knowledge, experience, and spirit.
This vast creative unknown within you is the breeding ground of creative thinking. Don’t let words get in the way.
Over to you now…